Any artist knows that a little private time can do just the trick for creating a masterpiece. This goes for pottery and ceramics creators, as many create their work in public studios or schools but may desire to get their hands dirty with clay in a more personal studio setting. If this applies to you and your pottery needs, have you ever considered creating your own pottery studio at home? If so, it may be a bit intimating to think of where to begin with this venture. It is helpful to consider the space you have available, supplies needed, costs to create, and present conditions for lighting, ventilation, and electricity to ensure that your studio will be a healthy, safe environment to work in.
Continue reading for more details on creating pottery at home, and tips for organizing your own pottery studio.
Getting Started With Pottery
If you are new to the pottery world or strictly familiar with attending a public studio, you may wonder if you can even do pottery at home. Well, the answer is yes, if you prepare accordingly! You first want to evaluate the extent of your pottery creation; consider how many pieces of pottery you plan to make on a regular basis, the size of the pottery, and your preferred method of creating pottery, hand-building or throwing, to give a better idea of how spacious your studio and storage space should be. You also must consider ways to keep your home pottery studio safe when designing your space.
Another important question to answer is will you need a kiln? Depending on your budget, space, and size of pottery and ceramics, you can either invest in a small electric or manual kiln or leave the hassle to another studio where you can transport your ready-to-fire pieces. Electric kilns can be expensive, but worth the purchase if you choose a quality brand due to their low maintenance and ease of use; a noteworthy option is Skutt electric kilns.
Essential Pottery Materials
Be sure to stock the right materials used for pottery in your new studio. From clay to small hand tools, you’ll want to have everything at hand before starting a new project at home. Listed here is an at-home pottery kit to get started with, though you can always build on it once your pottery studio starts to feel more like home.
Now that you’ve covered the necessary materials, next comes the bigger equipment. Pottery equipment for beginners can be kept at a minimum, especially for a smaller home studio. We already touched on what kind of electric kiln would best suite an at-home potter, and now onto equipment needed for crafting pottery pieces. If you are planning on ‘throwing’ your clay, you will need to invest in a small pottery wheel. The price of wheels can range from $400 to $1,400, and a bit of research can help narrow down which wheel would best accommodate for your pottery needs. A canvas-covered worktable, storage shelves, and a glazing station should complete the checklist for your studio.
Air Filtration in Home Pottery Studio Layout
Air filtration in a home pottery studio is extremely important due to the nature of this artistic activity. Think of the dust and earthy sediment floating through the air when working with large blocks of clay. Less visible, and more harmful, are the toxic fumes produced by glazes that potter’s brush onto their pottery before firing it in the kiln. These air pollutants are hard to avoid with an activity like pottery, though that doesn’t give them the right to make their way into a potter’s lungs. Potters are even at risk of diseases like Silicosis due to frequent dust and particle inhalation while working. You can learn more about this concern in our article, ‘What is Silicosis – Hidden Dangers of Working with Clay at Home.’ Good ventilation in a pottery studio is a great start for increased air flow and circulation in a room, but this isn’t enough to clear the air of toxins.
Solutions for achieving better filtration in the concentrated space of a pottery studio include adding a portable air purifier to the studio space. High-efficiency air purifiers are able to grab the airborne pollutants and capture them within filters, while supplying fresh air at quicker air exchange rates than HVAC systems or natural ventilation. The EnviroKlenz Air System is an industrial-grade powerhouse when it comes to filtering indoor air spaces. Place one of these systems in your home pottery studio, and its patented earth-mineral technology will go to work; with its combination of the EnviroKlenz Air Cartridge and HEPA filter, this double defense can capture and destroy 99.9% of airborne particulates, including dust and VOCs produced by pottery activities. It is worth the investment, as this consideration can make for a much healthier studio for any potter.
Designing Your Own Pottery Studio
The real fun begins when you decide how to organize your pottery studio. There are many options for home pottery studios, like utilizing a spare bedroom, basement space, or even a small shed in the backyard. Design your space to your liking for functionality and comfort while you work, and try to make designated spaces for each process of pottery-making to stay organized and have a fluid system of creating art. Also, don’t be afraid to have plenty of storage bins for easy arrangement of your tools, materials, and cleaning supplies.
Something to keep in mind is the safety of where you choose to set up your studio. Does this space have access to electricity? Is there proper ventilation? Potters of all skill levels should be aware of dangers like dust and chemical inhalation from working with clay and glazes, which can lead to lung diseases like silicosis or Potter’s Lung if precautions aren’t taken. Adequate ventilation is also needed for kilns while they are firing. Crafting a healthy pottery studio will ensure a safe environment that you can enjoy making art in without any worry.
Now that you have all the key elements for designing the perfect home pottery studio, you’ll be molding clay and firing pottery in no time. Let this be a guide for approaching pottery at home, and more importantly, approaching your artistic ventures in a safe, healthy way.
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